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What Does the Bible Say About..The Rapture?

When I asked you this question previously, you told me rapture isn’t something talked about in the Bible, and I read a few chapters and I talked to a pastor at my church and my closest relative. If rapture isn’t taught in the bible then explain, chapter 7 of Revelation, verses 13-14. There is also a lot of things concealed in the Old Testament about it but I’m not going to go down that rabbit trail.

I still don’t get how you can say rapture isn’t something taught in the Bible. I know for sure you have read 1 Thes 4:16-18 giving us such a clear description of the rapture. The word rapture isn’t in the Bible but there are a huge number of words that don’t appear in the bible ''like the word bible'' because God word was originally written in Hebrew and Greek. One could truthfully say that no English words are in the Bible. Take a look at 1 Thes 4:16-18 in the original Greek. I bet nowhere in there you see the dead in Christ rising, Jesus descending from heaven, and us meeting Him in the air. So the cynics are right: the word "rapture" is nowhere to be found. All I see is gobbledygook. For the record, the word "rapture" comes from the Latin word "rapturo," which in turn was a translation of the Greek verb "caught up" found in 1 Thes 4:17. You can call it the pre-trib rapture, the pre-trib rapturo, or the pre-trib caught up--it's all the same thing. So back to my point it is taught in the bible, it is actually pretty crystal clear.


I will admit I am at fault for that comment about the word “rapture” not being in any common English translation. The words “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 could translate the Latin word “rapturo.” However, to refer to that as “the rapture” could lead to the same problems and misunderstandings that have resulted from the King James Version translators using the word “baptism” instead of translating it “immersion.” My first statement, that the idea of the rapture as some people being caught up from the earth and others remaining not being taught in the Bible, still stands.

You bring up two passages, neither of which teaches anything about some people being taken from the earth before others. One is a picture of the church throughout the ages, and the other is talking about the end of the world.

Revelation 7:13-14 talks about a great number of people who are before the throne of God. Since the Revelation was written about things that were to happen within a few years of its writing, it is a symbolic view of the church going through the Roman persecution. The description of a multitude serving God in his temple is a beautiful picture of the church. Christians serve God daily in his temple, which Paul frequently said was the church (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:21).

The passage in the Revelation said they had come “out of great tribulation.” So we should see where else the Bible talks about Christians coming out of or having tribulation. The examples all show that Christians have experienced tribulation even from the beginning. Paul told the Corinthians that he was then in tribulation (2 Corinthians 1:4; 7:4). He told the Thessalonians that a tribulation had already occurred. “For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.” ( 1 Thessalonians 3:4) So these who were serving God in his temple (the church) had been in great tribulation, such as had occurred in John’s day and was about to repeat itself in the Roman persecution of the church for the next century and a half. Revelation 7:13-14 says nothing about anyone having been “snatched” from the earth before anyone else.

The other passage to which you refer is 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. Actually, the thought begins in verse 14. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

Other than the phrase “caught up,” which you pointed out, I find no rapture mentioned in this passage. That is, I find no reference to anyone being removed from earth before the end of the world, when all will be taken. That is actually the point of this passage. Apparently the Thessalonians were worried that those who were still living when the Lord came in judgement would have an advantage over the dead. Paul here simply states that the dead and the living will be taken to be with the Lord at the same time. Yes, I see the passage talking about “the dead in Christ rising, Jesus descending from heaven, and us meeting Him in the air,” as you said. But I don’t see any separation in time between some people meeting Jesus and others being left. The indication is that all the dead and all the living will be taken at once, not that some of the living would be left for a later time.